President Obama promises positive change
“As always, the President delivered a great speech. It seems that nothing can break Obama’s stride. That’s all I have to say about that.” This was what Saegertown junior, Zach O., had to say about the recent State of the Union address. Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. On Jan. 27, Barack Obama fulfilled this duty during his first State of the Union Address. To begin with, he explained some of the struggles that have plagued the United States in the past as well as in the present. The main body of his speech was made up of three parts, the economy, re-establishing trust between Washington and the people, and national security. Obama discussed several points about the economy including taxes, the Recovery Act (aka Stimulus Package), jobs, financial reform, and investing in education, and health care. He made several promises concerning our economy that stunned even political analysts. He said that the 30 billion dollars the banks have paid back will go to small businesses. The big banks will have to pay a fee to the taxpayers who bailed them out. America will double its exports over the next five years. People with student loans will be required to spend no more than 10 percent of their income paying them back, but if they work in public service, they will be forgiven of all money after ten years and everyone else after twenty years. There will be a three-year freeze on discretionary government spending except spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. He also asked for Congress to have several bills on his desk in the near future. This included a jobs bill and a comprehensive energy and climate bill. And concerning health care, he said to Congress, “Don’t walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people. Let’s get it done. Let’s get it done.” To say the least, President Obama was ambitious in his plans to strengthen the economy of America. Then he transitioned into how the government needs to re-establish the trust between the government and the people that is so important. He commented, “It’s time the American people get a government that matches their decency; that embodies their strength.” One way he had in mind was for Congress to, “publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there’s a vote so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.” The final part to the speech had to do with our national security. He has been criticized for his slowness in pulling our troops out out of Iraq, so he promised to bring all the active combat troops home by August 2010. He also talked about the increase in the number of terrorists that have been either killed or captured in the last year. Overall, the speech got mixed reviews from members of the SHS community. Government teacher Mr Walstrom said, “I thought the speech was very interesting. I just hope that the laundry list on his agenda will start to be put into effect, instead of always hearing what we need to do to make the United states better.” Mr. Sherry added, “He [the President] really didn’t say very much. I felt that he just rehashed the stuff that he’s been saying all through his election and his first year.” To see the full text of the speech, click on the link below.